The recent violence in the strike of security workers in South Africa was terrible. Many ordinary workers died at the hands of other workers like themselves. Why did this happen? How can we make sure it does not happen again? What causes violence in strikes? Who is to blame?
Millions of ordinary South African have to "steal" electricity. They cannot afford to pay for it. So they illegally connect themselves. This act has been praised and condemned by some depending on their politics. But in this article we ask the question of what it means when people must steal in order to get what they need. Enjoy.
Late last year, National Finance Minister Trevor Manuel unveiled his ‘Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)’. The MTBPS is designed to provide a longer-term policy framework for the next several annual budgets. As part of the MTBPS, Manuel announced that the ANC government would be spending an extra R37 billion over the next few years, most of which is supposed to go towards social services and public works programmes. All the mainstream media and most political leaders and commentators fell over themselves to congratulate Manuel and the ANC government. No one asked whether this money even comes close to making up for the huge budget cuts that Manuel and the ANC government have made since the introduction of GEAR in 1996 or what real impact the expenditure will have on all those who have lost their jobs and are struggling just to survive. Crucially though, no one questioned whether the people who are supposed to benefit from this expenditure were actually involved in deciding how public monies are going to be spent.
The lengthy letter by City of Johannesburg Media Liaison, Mbangwa Xaba (Phiri living conditions a cruel reminder of the past The Star September 16th) is more of a propaganda piece for the Council’s Operation Gcin’amanzi (‘conserve water’) than an honest assessment of the situation of Phiri residents. Besides ignoring the fact that the Council’s housing plan for Phiri residents has yet to see the light of day three years after being announced as a ‘special project’, Xaba uses the continued plight of Phiri residents to rationalise the Council’s 5-year, R50 million Operation Gcin’amanzi to ensure the further privatisation of water for Phiri and all Soweto residents.